With the fiscal cliff averted, the next big political battle in?Washington, D.C. is upon us: The debt ceiling.
Both sides on Monday were intent on drawing their lines in the sand.
President Barack Obama demanded not asked, demanded that Congress raise the nation's $16.4 trillion federal debt limit quickly to avoid potential delays in Social Security benefits and veterans' checks. The president also warned Republicans that they will not "collect a ransom for not crashing the economy."
"We are not a deadbeat nation," Obama said, according to an Associated Press story.
Republicans have signaled a willingness to raise the debt limit, but GOP leaders also want the package to include spending cuts, an idea that Obama has flatly refused to include. House Speaker John Boehner said "The House will do its job and pass responsible legislation that controls spending, meets our nation's obligations and keeps the government running, and we will insist that the Democratic majority in Washington do the same."
All of which means the debt ceiling issue surely won't be resolved soon as the March 27 deadline looms in the future. We expect more debate and discussion before a compromise is found, but simply raising the debt ceiling without cutting some spending doesn't address the problem. Republicans should not give in to the president's demands.